Alternative | Indie Rock | Art Rock
It is safe to say that I am possibly much later to the party than I should be, when it comes to the shape-shifting art-rock alias of American singer/songwriter Annie Erin Clark, known as St. Vincent. Even after the immense amount of hype that was surrounding the innovative and challenging electropop sound of her previous studio album, 2017’s Masseduction, It wouldn’t be until this year that I really gave her material a listen.
That being said, with the release of this brand new album, titled Daddy’s Home, St. Vincent continues to shift her sound, and explore a brand new stylistic approach. The one found on her newest effort, sticks to a very 70’s-inspired, bluesy, and borderline chamber-pop feel; one that not only felt reminiscent of Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising in some parts, but also one provides an apt musical backdrop for the album’s narrative.
From what I could gather, the concept of Daddy’s Home focuses on Clark’s own fears of parenthood, which is partially inspired by her own father’s incarceration. There also seems to be themes of domestic abuse, and the daunting bondage of marriage.
In a way that feels just as chameleonic as St. Vincent’s own stylistic shape-shifting throughout her discography, her emotion regularly shifts across this record, perfectly pairing with the many moods that the instrumentals of Daddy’s Home offer. It truly feels engaging in such a way, that this album almost feels destined to be one of the most iconic of 2021 amongst music lovers.
Starting off with the opening track “Pay Your Way In Pain”, Annie has no trouble roping the listener into her everyday struggles. And as a result, starts the whole experience of Daddy’s Home off in an incredibly immersive way. I could definitely see how this track succeeded in doing so, as the further I went into this album, the more I found myself being compelled by its story and emotive engagement.
The narrative focus is tightened even further by the triad of interludes found on Daddy’s Home. Resembling the hums of a typical housewife.
I feel that the tracks that popped out at me the most personally, would have to be some of the elegant, soaring, Weyes Blood-esque tracks, namely ones like “Down And Out Downtown” and “Somebody Like Me” where we get to hear some truly gorgeous vocals from Clark. However, on the flip-side, tracks like the aforementioned “Pay Your Way In Pain” and “Down” also served as some of the most memorable moments.
Furthermore, “memorability” indeed feels like a key word when it comes to picking out the very best qualities of the album. I will go ahead and admit that as I am writing this, I have only given Daddy’s Home a few listens, and I can already tell you about a handful of tracks that have been super hard to get out of my head. This is all made possible, because of the sheer level of immersion, iconic value, and St. Vincent’s phenomenal conceptual strength.
All in all, I am thrilled to have an album as special as Daddy’s Home serve as my introduction to this immensely talented individual. I truly cannot wait to see just how much this album will continue to grown on me, as the second half of the year comes into play.
Favourite Tracks: Down And Out Downtown | Down | Somebody Like Me
Least Favourite Track: Candy Darling
Loma Vista Recordings | Concord
Enjoyment: 8/10 | Memorability:10/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10
Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 8/10 | Narrative: 10/10